Call me lazy, call this shooting fish in a barrel with a rocket launcher, but hey, at least I’m consistent. So, once again, time to take a look at the dispiriting mess that is the nominations list for this year’s Brit Awards.
British Male Solo Artist
Starting as they mean to go on, the Brits present us with a pretty scattershot list for the British Male Solo Artist award. Paul Weller and Robert Plant’s nominations are presumably just pats on the back for still being alive and making music, with the former no doubt getting extra recognition for his Mercury nomination last year. Ronson has already won this once so I reckon it’s a straight fight between Tinie Tempah and Plan B – and I think Tempah will be victorious.
British Female Solo Artist
For starters, Laura Marling is probably out of the running on the grounds of having more artistic merit than all the other nominees combined. I’ve seen Rumer’s name around a fair bit recently, but not heard a single thing by her. After listening to a couple of tracks I came to the conclusion that she’s basically a boring version of Feist, targeted squarely at the Radio 2 demographic – probably not a winner here then. Paloma Faith could be a dark horse, and Cheryl is in with a shout thanks to her massive album sales – however, I think the judges may make Ellie Goulding the winner to justify giving her the Critic’s Choice award last year.
British Breakthrough Act
Mumford & Sons
This one is (as always) public voted. The type of people who’d actually vote for The XX probably won’t bother, so barring a massive swell of support for Mumford & Sons, I reckon Tinie Tempah will take this one.
Mumford & Sons
This one almost looks like a genuine five-way contest – Biffy Clyro, Mumford & Sons and The XX have all had big years, the Take That juggernaut appears unstoppable, and Gorillaz received a lot of critical acclaim in 2010. That said, Gorillaz are probably the one band I wouldn’t bet on – sales trump critical acclaim in general, unfortunately. Take That have been nominated for this award multiple times in recent years, but the judges never seem willing to make the leap and give ‘Best British Group’ to a pop band (a good decision, I’d argue). Given that this award has historically gone to guitar-based rock/indie bands, I think Biffy Clyro are in with a good shout.
Alexandra Burke ft Pitbull – ‘All Night Long’
Cheryl Cole – ‘Parachute’
Florence & The Machine – ‘You’ve Got The Love’
Matt Cardle – ‘When We Collide’
Olly Murs – ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’
Plan B – ‘She Said’
Scouting For Girls – ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’
Taio Cruz – ‘Dynamite’
Tinie Tempah – ‘Pass Out’
The Wanted – ‘All Time Low’
The singles nomination list has become a wretched, X-Factor ridden thing, and is always voted for by the public. I’m pretty sure that ‘Pass Out’ *should* be the winner, but in reality the group with the most screaming fangirls to vote for them is probably The Wanted.
Mastercard British Album Of The Year
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Plan B – The Defamation of Strickland Banks
Take That – Progress
Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy
The XX – XX
More like ‘best selling’ British album of the year, am I right? Seriously, two of these didn’t even come out in 2010, and so logically must have made the list because they sold a whole bunch last year (that and The XX make a good token ‘cool’ nomination). Was 2010 really such a terrible year for British music that the Brits have to resort to “me too!” bandwagoning of last year’s Mercury nominations to pad out the list? (Answer: No, it wasn’t.) As for who’ll win, I’ve no idea. If we go purely on sales then it’s Take That’s year, and The XX could win if the Mercury bandwagon continues all the way to the award ceremony. For some reason though my gut feeling is that Tinie Tempah will take yet another award here, so I’ll go with that.
International Male Solo Artist
Is it just me or does Bruce Springsteen get nominated every year? Anyway, despite Cee-Lo’s breakout single ‘Fuck You’, I think this is going to Eminem or Kanye West. Probably Eminem, for selling more – that and the fact that Kanye’s more likely to do something hilarious if he *doesn’t* win.
International Female Solo Artist
Lady Gaga is conspicuous in her absence (especially after continuing to sell records by the shedload), but I guess they didn’t want to give her this award two years in a row. So instead, they’ll probably just give it to Katy Perry. Again. Although I wasn’t aware that Alicia Keys had one of the 10 biggest-selling records in the UK last year, so she might have a shot at this one.
International Breakthrough Act
The Temper Trap
What the hell is this? How can the cast of a TV show be the best international breakthrough act? If Glee’s succession of vomit-inducing covers is the year’s best international breakthrough in music then God help us all. Also, The Temper Trap seem like a pretty random choice, especially since they were kinda breaking through already in 2009. I’d mock the judges for finally cottoning on to The National five albums in, but to be fair 2010 did see them break into the mainstream consciousness in a big way. However, all of the above is made moot by the fact that this is the final public-voted category – may as well just inscribe Justin Bieber’s name on the award now and have done with it.
Black Eyed Peas
Kings of Leon
Arcade Fire are the best band on this list by a country mile. That said, the Brits judges will probably demonstrate their complete idiocy by giving this award to Kings Of Leon.
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Eminem – Recovery
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown
I find it amusing that Cee-Lo’s album gets a nomination to kinda make up for the fact that his single isn’t eligible in the singles catagory (as he’s not British and all). Anyway, Arcade Fire are once again the standout act here, and once again they will probably not win. Eminem or Kings Of Leon, I guess – if forced to pick one of the two I guess I’ll go with Eminem.
Looking over the nominations again, the Brits 2011 *could* have the potential to pleasantly surprise me. However, given the history of the awards in recent years, they probably won’t. Guess we’ll find out next month, eh?